The Secret Sharer by Robert Silverberg

"The Secret Sharer"

by Robert Silverberg

Form: Novella

Year: 1987

ID: 984

Publication history:

Comments:

This fascinating story was nominated for Nebula Award for best novella, 1987. It was written as a sort of tribute to the classic Joseph Conrad story of the same name, since Silverberg had already covered Conrad's other famous novella, Heart of Darkness, with Downward to the Earth. Conrad's tale of a ship captain who befriends a mysterious stowaway is translated into a far future where the technology appears magical, and interstellar trade is accomplished on gigantic needle-shaped ships seemingly made of light. Silverberg's vivid imagination is much in evidence here, as the Sword of Orion is like nothing I've encountered in any other science fiction story. On every page, clever details are woven into the prose, but the story really concentrates on the characters. The Captain (who is strangely enough the least experienced member of the crew), and the stowaway are tangible entities in the midst of an environment so unreal it's hard to describe. Certainly one of highlights of Silverberg's post-retirement work, though I know some readers find it hard to get a grip on.

Other resources:

[None on record]